"Are they harboring any false impressions that they will get full face value?"
I sense that you believe that someone who has bought a share of preferred at a great discount to $50 does not "deserve" the $50 liquidation preference. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Does someone who buys common in the $0.70's "deserve" an offer much in excess of that if President Smulyan decides to take the company private?
EMMS traded at $28.xx in Dec 2003 and at $10.xx in June 2007. No shareholder in his right mind will be outraged at any going private offer that is even a 70% haircut from those prices. What is the "face value" of the common then?
If the preferreds are willing to accept 20% of peak traded market price in the last 5 years, I am willing (as a shareholder of the common) to accept 20% of the peak traded market price in the last 5 years :-)